Simply put, your employees are the single greatest investment you can make in your business. No other lock, system, gate or do-dad that will make up for the actions of an engaged employee. The decision to invest in your employees will guide the direction of your company for years to come. The ironic fundamental issue is that while many business owners “get it”, very few actually do it.
Among the current employee base, 44% feel that they are stuck in their role, 50% feel that their employer takes them for granted, 35% feel that work directly affects their ability to be happy, 40% believe it has a negative impact on their lives, and 70% are not engaged in what they are doing.
While those numbers might seem shocking, take a moment and think of your own work history. Has your work always been unicorns and rainbows? What jobs have you had that were engaging, made you happy to come to work, or made you better? Once you start to think about it, those statistics make perfect sense.
As a young boy I often went camping in the mountains of Yellowstone National Park. Whenever we went camping there, I always lived by one motto, “leave it better than you found it.” That creed has followed me throughout the years and into my business life.
As a business owner or even a leader in an organization, I believe you have a responsibility to better the lives of the people you lead, or to leave them better than when you found them.
This doesn't come from free snacks or bring your dog to work days. It takes planning and hard work. While it may not be easy, the payoffs are more than worth it.
How do you create a more engaged employee? You can start by answering these questions:
- What I am I doing to be a better boss (leader)?
- How am I improving the work environment?
- Am I giving every person an opportunity to grow?
- What am I doing to recognize people?
In a recent survey, 47% of employees wanted more recognition for the work they were doing and only 7% wanted a pay raise. That number is a huge indicator that the workplace environment desperately needs to be improved.
If you need further convincing that investing in your employees is the right thing to do, consider this. On average, a company with engaged employees make 2.5% more than the industry average. Take your current NOI and multiply that by 2.5% and see if it's worth having an engaged group of employees.
Rather than a weekly lunch, make it a monthly lunch and use the savings to invest in books to better your employees.
As your employees read and report on these books, reward them with the recognition of their accomplishments and a reward. I would rather have a staff that have read a book by Steven R Covey, Liz Wiseman, or Charles Duhigg than have a staff who likes Taco Tuesday.
Of course, it is easier to order lunch or to do one simple gesture, however, ask yourself how engaged do you want your employees? My goal is to help people become better and as a result, my business will flourish. To me, it sounds like an endeavor worth pursuing.